Posted on March 27th, 2017 - Fiona
Learning through play
Roleplay is something that comes very naturally to children. They learn through playing, acting out what they see and creating their own games. Nurturing is in built in children and from cuddly toys to life like dolls the desire to look after a favourite toy is something that occurs very early on. Role playing families and being Mummy looking after my baby is something I remember from my own childhood. I still have my first Tiny Tears Doll, she was fully mobile and could drink and wee. Move on 40 plus years and Baby Born Interactive is the modern Tiny Tears doll but of course even better. Showing this life like doll with her 9 real baby functions to my younger self I can already feel the excitement.
Featured of Baby Born Interactive
The 9 functions on Baby Born Interactive are all simple to operate, will excite little ones and parents will be delighted to discover no batteries are required! She can enjoy a drink from her bottle and eat her baby porridge from her own special plate and spoon. What’s really exciting is with the press of a button she can wee out her drink or poo out her porridge, using her potty or nappy of course! Baby Born interactive loves to be taken for a bath, but be careful to treat her gently or she may cry! Move all her limbs into a comfy sleeping position and watch her eyes close as she sleeps for the night.
Putting Baby Born Interactive to the ultimate test
We gave Baby Born to some of our holiday guests to see what they thought of her. She was instantly a success with little girls showing empathy and social skills in sharing and playing with her.
I love this clip I captured of two little ones sharing their mummy chores out with Baby Born. A little more experience will definitely come in handy or baby will have quite a headache!
Need to Know:
- BABY born® with body and hat.
- 1 plate with 1 spoon.
- 1 portion of porridge.
- 1 baby bottle.
- 1 potty.
- 1 nappy.
- 1 dummy with 1 dummy chain.
- 1 birth certificate.
- 1 friendship bracelet each for the girl and her doll.
- Toys R Us
Win Your Baby Born Interactive with Coombe Mill and Zapf Creations
If you fancy winning one of this wonderful life like interactive dolls just follow the instructions below. For more information on Baby Born Interactive and all other products in the range see here.
Good luck to all taking part.
Baby Born Interactive Doll
We were sent our Baby Born Interactive for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions on the doll are my own.
Posted on March 20th, 2017 - Fiona
As children begin to explore and understand the world around them, books can be a great way to reinforce these first concepts. From identifying colour and shape to animals and then words, there is so much all around that young minds are absorbing. Learning through play and activities has always been something we encourage at Coombe Mill. From the morning farm rides to meet the animals to activities and crafts at the end of the week, learning on the go is fun for little ones. Now Quarto Kids have a range of books called in their Learning Garden range that bring many of these first experiences home in a colourful series of themed books.
My First …….
Each of these new Learning Garden book series start with “My First” choose from Animals, colours and shapes or words. They all boast hard back pages designed for little fingers with colourful imagery and simple illustrations. These eye catching books are not ones to dwell on but are great for a few minutes down time, for reflecting over things children have seen and done. At just £6.99 each that’s great value learning in our book.
We showed the books to a couple of children staying at Coombe Mill at the end of the week. They had great fun pointing out the animals they had seen with us on the farm.
It became a game to see who could identify the colour and the shape first while words were guessed from the pictures.
Learning as a continuous process
Learning is a continual process for young children. I see these books as a great asset in recalling things seen and experienced in everyday life. It was easy to see how they fit in with life here on holiday and I’m sure you will find the same for your children at home too.
Win your set of 3 Learning Garden books with Coombe Mill
If you have or know preschool children who would enjoy these educational books why not enter to win a set below. Good luck to all taking part.
Learning Garden Series
We were sent our copies of The Learning Garden: “My first words”, “My first colours and shapes” and “My First Animals” for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and options are my own. Our holiday guests can borrow these books from our games room during their stay.
Posted on March 13th, 2017 - Fiona
We all love a bit of Disney fantasy; a story that ends happily ever after and provides good clean family entertainment. The Disney hit movie Moana was nominated for numerous awards including a BAFTA this season for its motion pictures, sound and more. Now you can let the animation unfold in your own living room with an afternoon of family entertainment as Moana comes out on digital download on 27th March and on Blu Ray and DVD on 3rd April.
Moana the Story
Moana is a teenage girl from Oceania with a mind of her own and a taste for adventurous. She sets sail on a voyage across the ocean in search of a mythical island full of hope and determined to save her people. Along the way Moana meets Maui, her hero, who also happens to be a demi-god. Together, the two take on an epic adventure, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. As well as seeking to save her people the journey becomes one of self-discovery for Moana, empowering her to find her own identity. There is beautiful and powerful message for audiences of all ages and genders making this action packed adventure perfect for all the family.
The Animation stars
Moana’s father, Chief Tui
Moana’s Gramma Tala
The inspiration behind the Disney Moana Animation
According to directors, “Moana” was inspired by the great explorers who first navigated the Pacific, discovering the islands of Oceania. “Voyaging is a real source of pride for many Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity,” says Roy Clements. Many experts believe that about 3,000 years ago, those deep-sea exploratory voyages halted for about a millennium before resuming. This rebirth of exploration sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations and the heroine at the heart of the story. “The idea of a teenage girl who dreamed of becoming a navigator—considering the abilities of her ancestors—was so appealing,” explains Musker.
Set sail with your own adventure like Moana
Here at Coombe Mill we are all for bringing fantasy to life. Why not have a go at making your own mini sail boat and then set your very own character off on an exploration to new lands. All you need is a farm egg, old milk bottles, a little imagination and a spirit for adventure.
Disney Moana Disk Need to Know Tips
Digital Download / Blu Ray / DVD
Varies by format to include
- Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings,”.
- Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go”.
- Audio Commentary.
Run time DVD
1h 40 – 1h 47
RSP on DVD
PG (Bonus material not rated)
Win your copy of Disney’s Moana on DVD with Coombe Mill
If you fancy a little Disney animation family fun to watch at home, why not enter to win the Moana DVD with us. Simply follow the instructions below.
We will be receiving a complimentary Disney DVD in return for this post. This can be borrowed by our holiday guests from the Coombe Mill Games Room.
Posted on March 6th, 2017 - Fiona
Here at Coombe Mill we are huge fans of the wonder of nature and the outdoors. Set in a wooded 30 acre estate we have so much for children to explore for natural woodland to the fairy gardens and den building areas. Children come together in these wild adventure zones to create and play and be at one with nature. When I came across the Night Gardener as a children’s book I had a feeling it was going to be very in keeping with our ideals at Coombe Mill. So often our Friday activities with the children include nature study and gardening, a book that mirrors our work with a good fantasy element would be perfect for our bookshelves and one to read ahead of our gardening activities.
About the Night Gardener
The Night Gardener is a newly released A4 hardback book designed for age 4 plus and available from Quarto Kids priced £12.99. Written and illustrated by brothers Terry and Eric it is a delightful tale, beautifully illustrated with minimal carefully chosen words. Follow the story of young William, who wakes to discover the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a magnificent owl. The magic of the night gardener is evident each morning thereafter. The town awakes and unites on the street and in the park to see what masterpiece has been created over night. They never spot the man himself, he has long since packed away his tools and left; until one evening when the night gardener invites William to help.
What We Thought
This book is enchanting, uplifting, captures the imagination and is perfect for little ones beginning to explore and enjoy nature. The clever minimal use of words and descriptive illustrations would make this a great bedtime story as the large book is remarkably quick to finish. You may find children wanting to linger over the pictures though, creating their own ideas out of the pages. Older children will be able to read the story for themselves and be equally inspired.
Win your copy of The Night Gardener with Quarto Kids and Coombe Mill
If you have a creative child that enjoys nature this book will be perfect. Why not enter to win by following the instructions below.
The Night Gardener
We work closely with Quarto Kids and were sent a copy of the night gardener for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and our copy is available for Coombe Mill gusts to borrow from the bookshelves of the games room.
Posted on February 27th, 2017 - Fiona
In an era where on line games are becoming smaller and smaller as children play on tablets and phones, I am a big fan of encouraging real life games that you physically engage in and not just absorb children through a screen. Make these larger than life and the fun really begins.
I remember as a child playing the classic 4 in a row connect 4 game with friends for hours. It was one of those games everyone had and a perfect way to start a play date. Roll on 30 years and the amazing Big Game Hunters have a big and jumbo version of my favourite childhood board game that is perfect for the garden or a playroom; in fact they have a whole range to choose from. There is no sitting still just exercising your fingers and thumbs as in an online game, children actually have to bend and stretch and move around as well as think strategically and try to outwit their opponent; the perfect way to exercise mind and body and improve social skills too.
Jumbo 4 Connect
Delivery and Assembly
We received the Jumbo 4 connect. Delivery was super swift tracked by email at every stage. On arrival we had it unpacked and assembled in minutes. There are instructions to help you but to be honest it is very intuitive to put together with just sides to slot into place and a pull out tray at the bottom to release the counters at the end of play.
We have past experience of Big Game Hunters as our children’s trampoline and the Coombe Mill ones have come from them. Based on the high quality and long lasting nature of their Sky High trampolines I had high hopes for the Jumbo 4 connect and I wasn’t disappointed. It is made from study wood which is well finished with smooth gloss paint. It feels substantial and looks high quality which is important for us as I know it is going to be used week in week out by our holiday guests. In a home I can see this being a game that is handed down from generation to generation to enjoy. The counters are plastic, light weight enough to lift easily, yet sturdy enough to take the constant dropping into slots and clattering to the floor at the end of a game. We have the perfect games room to keep it in, though I can see it coming outdoors too.
Jumbo 4 Connect in Play
Our Jumbo 4 connect arrived just in time for our half term guests to give it a go. We set it up at the start of activity hour outside the games room and a couple of the girls knew straight away how to play and started trying to create their lines of 4 in turn while we waited for everyone to assemble. This is when it really struck me how much movement was required as well as skill and social interaction. That’s three big wins from one fun game.
Capturing the girls on video you can almost hear their minds at work trying to our wit each other to make a line of 4 first.
The Jumbo 4 is just right for our little ones staying here on the farm, however for older children, adults or to really stretch those little ones movements you could opt for the Big 4. Standing at 1.2m tall it is the largest wooden 4 in a row game on the market and would be perfect for family gatherings, team challenges and a guaranteed to be the highlight at any garden party.
Need to Know:
|Jumbo 4 Connect||Big 4 |
|73.4 cm x 84 cm x 20 cm||120 cm x 120 cm x 4.8 cm|
|Quality Wooden Frame||Quality Wooden Frame|
|Plastic Counters Included||Plastic Counters Included|
|Easy to take apart for storage||Easy to take apart for storage|
|£94.99 available from Big Game Hunters||£144.99 available from Big Game Hunters|
Win your Jumbo 4 Connect from Big Game Hunters with Coombe Mill
For a chance to get your kids up and moving with this classic game on a grand scale why not enter to win below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was sent our Jumbo 4 connect to review in this post however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
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